London’s Metropolitan Police and Operation Protective Edge*
In the six month period from 1st March 2014 to 31st August 2014, Eighty of London’s Metropolitan Police staff travelled to Israel. This period coincides with Operation Protective Edge, the recent bombardment and massacre of over 2000 Palestinians in Gaza.
Recently it was revealed that the Israeli army is systematically training US police forced in tactics and strategy developed as an occupying army. Has the same or similar service been provided to European police forces?
The Metropolitan Police will not reveal the purpose of the trips to Israel or the rank of the staff that travelled. A reason given for withholding the information is that it would “have the effect of compromising law enforcement tactics and strategies”. However, If the Metropolitan Police are learning inappropriate tactics and strategy to use on London civilians then, it is for that very reason, that this information should be released into the public domain.
If it’s the reverse and the police are teaching tactics and strategy to Israel in the context of its illegal occupation then it shows a level of involvement in the occupation that was hitherto hidden and may imply criminal behaviour according to international law.
The recent events in Ferguson demonstrate the danger of an over militarised police. Do we want to see this in Europe?
Eran Efrati warned that Israel’s training of American police is dangerous. Their methods are developed in a context, where the “citizens” are seen and treated as an enemy to be crushed. As he explains, “when your police come back, you become their enemy”.